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The Water Diviner

Audience Review

Release Date

17 Apr 2015 (India)
24 Apr 2015 (WorldWide)

The Water Diviner Story

The film opens in 1919, after the end of World War I. Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) is an Australian farmer, and water diviner. He is shown locating and digging a well. When he returns home after his exertions, his wife Eliza (Jacqueline McKenzie) discloses that his three sons Art, Edward ( James Fraser) and Henry (Ben O'Toole) left for war to serve with the ANZACs at the Battle of Gallipoli 5 years previously and have not returned. All are presumed dead. As the story unfolds Eliza unable to deal with the grief commits suicide and Connor pledges to bring the bodies of his sons home to be buried alongside their mother.

Connor travels to Turkey where he decides to stay in a Turkish hotel run by the recently widowed Turkish Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko), the hotel owner. When Connor contacts the British consul he is told that Gallipoli is off limits and he is forbidden to travel. After befriending Ayshe's son Orhan (Dylan Georgiades), Ayshe warms to the rugged Australian when she learns of his loss and why he is in Turkey. She advises him to bribe a fisherman from a local village and that will allow him to make his way to Gallipoli.

Connor makes the journey and arrives in Gallipoli only to be met with more resistance. The ANZACs are engaged in a mass burial detail and all civilians are forbidden. Major Hasan (Yılmaz Erdoğan) a Turkish officer assisting the ANZACs advises the ANZAC captain Lt-Col Cyril Hughes (Jai Courtney) to allow Connor to search for his sons and Hughes acquiesces.

Through flashbacks it is revealed that the 3 boys were engaged in combat when Art got injured returning to his trench. As Henry and Edward ran to his rescue the Turkish army machine gunned them killing one and badly wounding the other with the fate of the oldest brother Art unknown.

Connor walks the battlefield reminiscing about his sons. He uncovers the two younger boys’ bodies. Shockingly discovering a bullet hole in the head of one of the skulls. An ANZAC sergeant implies that Major Hasan oversaw the defence in the area and ordered all casualties to be executed. Connor attempts to assault Hasan but is stopped.

Major Hasan recognises Connor's surname and realises that Art may have been taken prisoner. At this point he declines to help further and the ANZACs force Connor to leave. Connor returns to Ayshe's hotel where she is celebrating her son, Orhan's bris. Later Connor intervenes when Ayshe's brother in law attempts to hit her. Connor is set upon by her brother in law in the street but Sergeant Jemal (Cem Yılmaz) intervenes and brings Connor to Major Hasan.

They explain that the Greeks have invaded and the Turks are going to war to defend their country as the British are not intervening. Connor realises they are going through the region where his son was held. At this stage the British intervene and tell Connor he is to be removed from the country but he escapes thanks to Ayshe and joins the Turks on the train.

The train is ambushed and almost all of the soldiers are killed. As a Greek officer prepares to execute Hasan and Jemal, Connor intervenes but unfortunately Jemal is killed. Connor and Hasan flee and come across a village where they spot a water divining well. The well is constructed in the manner Connor taught to his sons. He investigates further, and finds his son Art, alive, but somewhat dishevelled and badly traumatised by his experiences in the war.

Art discloses that at the end of the battle Henry was badly injured. Henry pleaded with Art to end his suffering and Art, with no other option, shot his younger brother. Believing he had caused his brother's deaths, he felt he could never return to his family. As he finishes his story, the Greeks attack the town and Art shows his father an escape route through the mountains.

Racked with guilt, Art refuses to follow his father but when Connor refuses to leave without his son Art agrees to follow him. They escape into the mountains and evade the Greek army, returning to Ayshe's hotel. The film ends with Ayshe making coffee for Connor. It is hinted that it is very sweet—a sign that she is falling for Connor.

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